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“Sea and Sand Inn”
Review of Sea & Sand Inn

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Sea & Sand Inn
Ranked #1 of 54 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Sea and Sand Inn”
Reviewed July 12, 2007

My fiance and I have been there twice, and we love it! It is a bit on the pricey side, but what can you expect from a beach town? We like that it's just a short trek to the boardwalk, the rooms are comfy and stocked with essentials. The shower has hot water. The only thing that stuck out to me was in the bathroom, there was only one bar of soap for washing hands, and washing in the shower. There should have been two bars.

After a long day at the boardwalk, it was nice to come back to the room and be able to rent a video from the front desk to wind down. We expected to pay for the rental, but when we checked out the next morning we were told it was complimentary!

We will most likely stay there again next summer. We will enjoy the ocean view, the lovely gardens and the service with a smile.

  • Liked — Ocean view and easy boardwalk access
  • Disliked — not enough soap in the room
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tra_lalala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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433 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (130)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Burbank, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2007

My grandparents have owned one of the white condos across the street from this sweet little motel since 1989 (a few months before the '89 quake which scared the pants off of them but everything for the most part was okay).
When my husband and I decided to get married in Santa Cruz because the location meant so much to us and my family I knew I wanted to stay that night at the Sea and Sand Inn. There are lots of other places to stay that are just as nice (the Darling House B&B, Casablanca, etc) along the main Santa Cruz bay right there but Sea & Sand Inn is reasonably priced, been around for a while with a good rep. and of course only across the street from where the rest of the wedding party was.
Our few short hours there were very nice. Our ceremony was held in the morning just below the cliff of the Motel on Cowells beach and the Reception just down the street at the Cocoanut Grove Sunroom (right above the Penny Arcade). We checked in around dusk in our full wedding attire, change of clothes in hand. I think all I had to do was sign one little paper before they gave us our room key. I discovered how they knew who we were so well when we got to our room. My parents had brought over the left over table flowers and decorations that would eventually die, but before throwing them out they got one more use. The staff had taken what my parents left and decorated our whole room with them including a heart on the bed made out of flower petals.
The room was a moderate size, very clean and fairly simple. The best thing about the motel is its location. The little green path that you can walk down to the edge of the cliff and look out over Cowells beach, the bay, the wharf and the boardwalk is beautiful. The proximity to the surrounding attractions couldn't be better. The beach is a short walk down a hill, the wharf has tons to see and do, the boardwalk is right there. You can walk the other direction along the road right in front of the motel along the picturesque cliff to the lighthouse/surfing museum and surfing statue/memorial. If you continue along that road (West Cliff Drive) best on a bicycle, the view continues until you hit Natural Bridges beach/park, in the winter you can see bunches of Monarch butterflies in the eucalyptus trees there. Downtown is a short bike or drive inland (up Front St. and one block east) where you can find the Pacific Garden Mall, plenty of nice shops and good inexpensive restaurants as well as nightlife.
On our way out in the morning I noticed the staff was making some suntea on the little picnic table outside. A place that makes their own suntea out in the open is just cute!

  • Liked — The extra efforts from the staff
  • Disliked — Our lack of time there
  • Stayed August 2005, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JayCa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2007

This one's a hard one to figure. My first impression was one of horror - from the street, it looks like some kind of faded flophouse of the sort that should be renting by the hour. The lobby doesn't do too much to dispel that notion. But once inside the grounds, it seems more wholesome, with families playing around the sitting area and reasonably nice people in the rooms. The views are indeed fabulous, looking down on the wharf area from cliffs high above. You can hear the waves crashing and seals barking from the bay below. But the rooms are at best shabby. They are in terrible physical condition, though they are at least clean. It looks as if they do have a housekeeping staff but do little or no long term maintenance. It's not clear to me whether they are aiming for some kind of ironic shabby chic or whether they simply have not been able to afford a renovation for at least 20 hard years. I wouldn't steer anyone away from this place, because it actually is clean and the staff is pleasant, but just be prepared for facilities that are more like an old truck stop motel than a sea-side resort.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Appearance and condition
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Seanibus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2007

Having hated the Coast Santa Cruz Hotel next door on a previous visit (see my blistering review), I am happy to report that the Sea & Sand is now my number one choice for where to stay in Santa Cruz. I used the word "motel" in my title because its small size and placement right on the street does give it a somewhat "motellish" feel, which heightens the contrast to the big hotel next door, but for me, in a good way. The view, the charm and many little creature comforts make this a very pleasant place to stay. Every room has a fantastic ocean view, and the view here is actually better than at the Coast because here you are looking past a well-maintained garden, with nice plantings and big eucalyptus trees at the far end. (No direct beach access, however, which may be an issue for some, but not for me.) Rooms and common areas are clean and well-maintained, with attention clearly being paid to the gardens on a regular basis. Aromatic jasmine at the office door is a particularly nice touch. The rooms are a little on the small side, as other reviewers have mentioned, but truly, they're not THAT small, and the appointments were perfectly fine. I loved the warm, cozy decor, and the room had absolutely everything I needed, including a surprising number of hangers in the closet (maybe 12?). Individual thermostats in each room work perfectly with the wall heaters so you can adjust the room temp to your heart's content and it actually does what you want it to do. Special kudos for the excellent beds. I like a firm, solid bed and this one was great. The bathroom is plain but had all the necessary elements (shower only, but that's fine with me) and everything worked and was clean. Extra thumbs-up for a seemingly trivial little detail that I really appreciated: the TV remote is blessedly simple and easy to use, making for an irritation-free viewing experience, and the TV had more channels than you get in some hotels. My only complaint (and here I must differ from other reviewers) is that I was underwhelmed with the service from the moment I made my reservation on the phone to the moment I checked out. The friendliness level was adequate and everyone certainly "got the job done," but nobody seemed to take particular pride in what they were doing, a couple people seemed dull-witted and the overall tone was self-centered as opposed to customer-centered. Oh yes, I almost forgot--the phone system is unreliable. Messages are supposedly taken at the desk when a guest is not in, but my callers never got routed back to the desk even after 15 rings. I count that as part of "service," and it is because of weak service that I give the Sea & Sand a 4 instead of a 5. But clearly other travellers have had good experiences with the service. Maybe I came in a bad week when the phones didn't work right and all of the best employees were on vacation. Anyway, all that being said, for the incredible location, darling rooms, excellent beds, lovely gardens and the heavenly sound of ocean waves as I go to sleep--all for what I would call pretty reasonable prices--I will use my cell phone for messages and lower my expectations where service is concerned because I definitely want to stay here again!

  • Liked — Charming rooms, great beds, fantastic location
  • Disliked — So-so service, unreliable message system
  • Stayed April 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank spicegrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 5, 2007

Sea and Sand Inn was a great first stop on our road trip heading south down Highway One. Only about an hour drive south from San Francisco International airport, the hotel has a beautiful location perched on a cliff looking out over the bay and to the Santa Cruz boardwalk and beyond. The rooms are simple and clean with the excellent bonus of ocean views - we woke to see a host of early morning surfers catching the waves. It is only a ten to fifteen minute walk to the Santa Cruz downtown area and yet feels away from the bustle of the town centre.

  • Stayed April 2007
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Bodavesa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2007

We stayed at the Sea and Sand Christmas night, at a rate of $109 for a King on the second floor. We checked in around 4:30, and were imediately blown away by the ocean view outside our door. As night descended and the view disappeard, we became more aware of the room itself, which was clean, but cramped. My claustrophobic moments were probably exaggerated because it was Christmas and there wasn't a lot going on in town, so we spent more time in the room than we would have on a normal night. The decor does feel some what faded, but the bed was fine, and we slept to the sounds of sea lions...noise from other rooms was never a problem.

The staff was helpful and pleasant. They were prepared with a list of restaurants that were open on Christmas, and breakfast was above average.

Depending on the rate, I'd probably stay here again, but I'd make plans to be out of the room for a good chunk of the evening. :-)

  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA
Level Contributor
47 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2006

Very spacious room. Hut tub in room. Comfortable bed. Not Noisy and we left windows open to hear sound of the ocean. Awesome location as it is very close to the Santa Cruz dock. Temperature can be a problem especially in this time and if you want a really cold room. Free wireless. Have a wine and cheese and free breakfast that are so, so. Staff is very friendly and helpful. The front "patio" of the room has a beautiful view of the ocean but its not private.

  • Stayed October 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank VacationingBoricua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sea & Sand Inn

Property: Sea & Sand Inn
Address: 201 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Beach Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Santa Cruz
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Cruz
#2 Family Hotel in Santa Cruz
#3 Romantic Hotel in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The ocean-front Sea & Sand Inn has always been popular with savvy out-of-towners, but a major renovation in 2009 has added a whole new “wow” factor. Three new luxury king spa rooms with ocean view balconies were added; two spacious family cottages with private hot tubs and three other spa rooms were also upgraded. All 22 rooms have a fantastic ocean front view of sparkling Monterey Bay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sea And Sand Hotel Santa Cruz
Hotel Sea And Sand
Sea And Sand Inn Santa Cruz

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